Web Development – Envato https://envato.com Design & creative inspiration Thu, 21 Jun 2018 03:09:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 https://assets.wordpress.envato-static.com/uploads/2016/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Web Development – Envato https://envato.com 32 32 Master These Awesome New Skills in June 2018 https://envato.com/blog/best-online-design-courses/ Sat, 26 May 2018 12:22:48 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=55304 Why not learn a new skill in June? Get inspired with these fantastic new courses and tutorials.

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Learning a new skill is a wonderful thing to aim for, so why not add it to your goals for June? It doesn’t have to take time either—the tutorials and courses in this roundup break everything down into easy-to-follow steps that you can quickly master.

So here’s a roundup of some great courses and tutorials on graphic design, web design, coding, photography, and business. Many of these resources are free, and others are included in a subscription to Envato Elements. So there’s nothing stopping you from picking up a valuable new skill this month.

1. Create Custom Blocks in WordPress Gutenberg

If you use WordPress, you’ve probably heard all about Gutenberg, an entirely new editing experience coming to WordPress later this year. Most of the articles so far have focused on adapting to it and dealing with issues, but what I like about this tutorial is that it focuses on the opportunities Gutenberg offers. Specifically, it shows you how to create your own custom version of a block—the drag-and-drop unit that Gutenberg is built around. With custom blocks, you can offer truly unique experiences in your themes and plugins. Find out how.

2. Learn Photoshop From the Ground Up

We often focus on new technologies in these posts, but sometimes it’s good to get a refresher on something that’s been around a long time. This comprehensive three-hour video-based course treats Photoshop as if it’s a new piece of software, introducing it to you from start to finish, with no prior knowledge assumed. This is a perfect way for beginners to master Photoshop, whether you’re a designer, photographer, marketer, or hobbyist. Take the course to learn about layers, adjustments, masking, Smart Objects, and a whole lot more.

3. Code an Image Gallery Android App With Picasso

If you’re creating a mobile app, you’ll probably need to load images at some point. This tutorial teaches you how to do it quickly and easily with Picasso, a popular open-source Android library for loading both local and remote images. It gives you an introduction to what Picasso is and why you should use it, and then it takes you step by step through the process of using it to create an image gallery app. Get the full instructions and source code here.

4. Make a Website Using a Responsive WordPress Theme

If you’re a small business owner or freelancer who wants to set up a professional-looking website quickly and easily, this short course is perfect. You get to see the full process of creating a site using a premium WordPress theme. You’ll install and activate the theme, configure the options, and then create the home page, menu and hours page, contact page, and so on. Take the course to get started.

5. Think Like a Designer

When you hear the phrase “design thinking”, what comes to mind? Maybe putting good design and aesthetics at the centre of whatever you’re working on? That’s not a bad definition, but this tutorial argues for something different. Design thinking is about seeing everything from the customer’s point of view and designing everything with a view to what the customer needs and wants. Read the full tutorial to learn more about how it works and what the implications are for designers.

6. Use Regular Expressions in JavaScript

The most exciting tutorials are usually the ones where you build something. This isn’t one of those. There isn’t even a good preview image to show. It’s very much about the nuts and bolts of code, and yet those nuts and bolts are very useful indeed. With regular expressions, you can manipulate strings of data in pretty much any way you want, allowing you to find matches, replace parts of the string, and much more. Read this beginner’s guide to get an idea of what’s possible.

7. Make Extra Income From Side Gigs

Are you a designer? Do you want to make some extra money? If you answered “Yes” to both those questions, then this tutorial is for you. In it, you’ll learn about ten different ways of using your talent to bring in income from side gigs. Teaching, writing, consulting, merchandising, and more—these ideas will get you thinking about new possibilities for your design career. Read about all ten side gigs here.

8. Create a Porg

We couldn’t let May the 4th go by without a Star Wars tutorial, could we? And what better choice this year than those cute, fluffy porgs? This is actually a two-part tutorial. First, you can learn how to draw a porg by slowly adding simple shapes and then shading. Then you can take that drawing and create a beautiful vector illustration in Affinity Designer.

9. Break the Grid With CSS Grid Layout

Traditional grid-based layouts have a lot of advantages, but you also end up with a lot of websites that look pretty reminiscent of other websites. If you want to make an impression, try breaking the grid. This course shows you exactly how to do it using the CSS Grid Layout model. Learn the full process with video instructions here.

10. Animate an Explosion!

Boom! The explosion effect above looks complicated to create, but it’s actually quite simple to build it using the Toon Boom software. You’ll get the step-by-step instructions in this tutorial, and you can use the skills you develop to build all kinds of different animations. Read the tutorial to get started.

Want to Learn More?

If these new courses and tutorials aren’t enough for you, check out the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,000 courses and 25,000 tutorials. There’s sure to be something there for you. Or have a look at these recommendations from previous months to get some more inspiration.

Get to Grips With WordPress Gutenberg

If you use WordPress to create or update websites, you’ve probably heard about a massive change that’s coming soon. The update, codenamed Gutenberg, will change the way you create and edit posts and pages—probably for the better, but with some major adjustment required. Take the course to see how it will work.

Also check out these helpful Gutenberg articles:

Draw a Puppy

Who doesn’t love puppies? Just look at how cute and chubby that little guy is. But seriously, there’s more reason to take this tutorial than just the cuteness factor. You’ll also see how to break down a fairly complex thing like a puppy into simple ovals and lines so that you can draw it easily. Read the instructions here.

Create Double Exposure Effects in Adobe Photoshop

Double exposure effects, where multiple images are blended together, can be very visually powerful. But there’s more to creating them than simply slapping one photo on top of another. This course takes you through three separate examples to give you a comprehensive understanding of the dos and don’ts of double exposures. Take the course to discover how it’s done.

Create Accessible WordPress Themes

Accessibility is crucial when designing WordPress themes in 2018. But how do you ensure your theme is fully accessible to everyone? This tutorial guides you through the essential steps, from using semantic HTML to checking for color contrast and avoiding repetitive link text and more. Read the tutorial to get up to speed.

Master the New Bootstrap 4 Grid System

Bootstrap is an incredibly popular framework for building websites, and the new version 4 comes with a lot of changes. One of the biggest is a complete revamp of the grid system. Take the course to learn all about the changes and practise using the new system.

Do Better Market Research With Focus Groups

No matter what industry you’re in, knowing what your customers want is a pretty essential part of staying in business. You’ve probably heard of focus groups and how big companies use them to decide which variant of a product will work better. But did you know that small firms can use them to? Do you know how to set one up and use it effectively? If not, read the tutorial to find out.

Get the Most Out of Medium Telephoto Photography Lenses

Sometimes, having the right piece of gear can make a real difference to the quality of the images you produce. But with such a wide array of cameras and lenses out there, it can be tough to know where to start. This video tutorial breaks it all down for you, showing you the benefits of a medium telephoto lens and how to get the most out of it. Watch the video to get clued in.

Upgrade to Java 8 for Android App Development

The technology updates seem to be coming thick and fast. Along with Gutenberg and Bootstrap 4, there’s also Java 8 to look out for. Although Java 8 has actually been around for a few years now, Android app developers couldn’t use it until recently. However, in version 3.0, Android Studio started supporting Java 8, and this short course shows you how to add Java 8 to your Android Studio projects and upgrade your code to take advantage of all its new features. Take the course to prepare for the upgrade.

Create a Cute Spring Illustration

No drawing skills required! You can construct this cute illustration using simple shapes and tools in Adobe Illustrator. Get the full step-by-step instructions to see how it’s done.

Design Better User Experiences for Global Audiences

Creating an engaging user experience (UX) is hard enough anyway, and it gets even tougher when you have to consider the different cultural contexts of people around the world. This short tutorial introduces you to some important best practices. It’s also worth reading up on what dark UI patterns are and why you should avoid them.

Create a Photorealistic Digital Painting in SketchBook Pro

Fruit? Really? Yes—there’s a good reason why painters have honed their skills for centuries on this classic still life subject. Fruit gives you a variety of colours and textures to work with, and its various surfaces reflect light in different ways. This tutorial takes you through the whole process in detail, using techniques from 3D modelling to make the end result look incredibly realistic. By the end, you’ll be ready to use the same techniques to paint any subject you want. Follow all the steps here.

Create a Small Business Branding Package the Fast Way

If you’re a small business owner or freelancer who wants to create professional branding materials quickly and efficiently, this quick ten-minute course is for you. You’ll learn how to select appropriate templates from Envato Elements and bring them together to form a cohesive brand identity that instantly builds customer trust. Take the course now.

Manage Storage on Your iOS Device

Does this sound familiar? You buy a phone or tablet, it comes with a ridiculous amount of storage that you’re sure you’ll never end up using. Then, within no time, you get messages popping up saying the device is full. This tutorial takes you through some useful steps to avoid that problem for iOS devices by freeing up space and using storage more efficiently for common problem areas like photos and music. Learn those iOS storage secrets here.

Learn PHP for WordPress

For me, the attraction of WordPress is that it lets you build sophisticated websites without having to understand PHP, the underlying programming language it’s built with. You can bolt together themes and plugins, tinker around with a few settings, and you’re good to go! But, of course, if you want to go to a deeper level of customization or become a WordPress developer, you will need to learn PHP eventually. This course is a great introduction, letting you take your first steps with PHP in the familiar environment of WordPress. No more flaking out and using the Customizer—go ahead and take the red pill to see what’s really happening under the hood.

Overcome Your Cognitive Biases and Design Better Websites

If you want to be a great web designer, you probably think you need to learn all the latest CSS and JavaScript tricks and master the latest frameworks. While all of that is useful, you’ll also need to do something more important and often more difficult: know your own cognitive biases and work to overcome them. This fascinating tutorial digs into some of the weird biases lurking in our brains and shows how they can affect your work as a web designer. Read the tutorial to learn about your biases and master them so you can design better websites.

Code a React App With GraphQL

Often, the best way to learn something is to get your hands dirty with a practical example. In this course, you’ll be building a trip-planning app for the Finnish public transport system. Along the way, you’ll learn how to seamlessly retrieve and integrate live server data into your app, while structuring your queries, accessing real-time data, and handling errors. You’ll also get to know the quickest route from Mäkkylä to Espoonlahti. Take the course to start building and learning today.

Create a Shatter Effect in Photoshop

A shatter effect is a powerful visual metaphor that you can use in a range of designs to illustrate progress, change, or breaking through boundaries. This tutorial shows you how to create the effect easily in Photoshop, starting with a stock image and creating a special “shatter brush” to let you apply the effect, before making all the necessary adjustments so that it looks realistic. Get the full instructions here.

Create a Weight Tracker App With Cloud Firestore

Cloud Firestore is an easy, secure way to store your Android app’s data in the cloud. This tutorial shows you how to use it to create a simple weight tracker app. You’ll learn how to set up user authentication and a basic user interface to make a fully functioning app in a surprisingly short amount of time. See how it’s done.

Animate a Rubber Hose Character in Cinema 4D

The simple, fluid “rubber hose” style of animation is a great way to learn the basics of animation without worrying about the detailed anatomy of your characters. And although the characters are often simple, their movements can look very realistic. This course shows you how to animate a rubber hose character in Cinema 4D, giving you a perfect introduction to 3D animation along the way. Take the course now.

Create a Truly Terrifying Photo Manipulation

Too often, things like this get published around Halloween, but I think we should be able to scare the bejesus out of each other all year round. As well as being nightmare-inducing, this photo manipulation project is a great way to learn about techniques like using colour grading to add atmosphere and mood to a scene. Read the tutorial to start assembling this scene step by step.

 

Build a WordPress Portfolio Site in 1 Hour

A portfolio website is a must for people in all kinds of different industries. It lets you pull together your work and show it off in a visually engaging way. This course shows you how to create a portfolio site the easy way, using WordPress and a pre-designed portfolio theme. Take the course to build a great-looking site in just an hour.

Create a Surreal Portrait in Photoshop

Some designs are so striking that you just think, “Wow, I could never create that.” Well, I do, anyway. But this tutorial breaks the whole process down into easily manageable steps. If you’ve got a copy of Photoshop and some time available, you can work your way through this and create a stunning photo manipulation with a stitching effect. Get the full set of instructions.

Build a React Component

Are you up for a challenge? This post sets you the challenge of building a React component for displaying a Twitter avatar, and then you can either work on it by yourself or watch the video to see how it’s done. Take the challenge here.

Brush Up on Your Illustrator Skills

Adobe Illustrator is one of those programs that you can use for years without discovering all its features. This course takes you through 10 essential design tips to help you get the most out of Illustrator and bring your creative ideas to life. Take the course to discover all 10 tips.

Get Up to Date on SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of those subjects that changes all the time. That’s why Envato Tuts+ publishes annual reports on The State of SEO. Check out the latest SEO report for 2018 to discover the ins and outs of AJAX crawling, artificial intelligence and more.

Create an Online Store With Shopify

If you want to set up an online store or monetise an existing site, Shopify is a popular solution. This course makes it easy for you to get up and running with your own online store. Take the course to watch 12 detailed video lessons that will take you from zero to a functioning store in no time. Bonus: the sample store you’ll be creating is a pet store, so plenty of scope for cute dog photos!

Replace a Laptop With an iPad

Haven’t we all dreamed of leaving the laptop behind and going for the simplicity and comfort of an iPad? For “power users” like professional graphic designers and coders, this may not be practical, but for many of us, an iPad can now handle most if not all of the tasks we use our computers for. So if you’re ready to slim down, read this article for details of how to make the switch successfully.

Learn Vue.js

Vue is a progressive framework for building user interfaces using HTML and JavaScript. In this short course aimed at designers, you will learn the basics of pulling data into your web pages using Vue’s simple templating syntax. Take the course now.

Master Lightroom’s New Dehaze Tool

Take a close look at the image above. The left half is how the photo originally looked, and the right half has had the Dehaze tool applied to it in Adobe Lightroom CC. As you can see, it’s a powerful tool, and this tutorial teaches you exactly how to use it. Read the tutorial to get up to speed.

Create a Modern Restaurant Website

What I like about this tutorial is that it goes beyond the technical aspects of building a website to deal with the whole process, from defining your target audience through the design of the site and then marketing and content creation. While some of the tips are specific to restaurant websites, others could be applied to a range of other business websites. Read the article here.

 

Learn to Design for Colour-Blind People

Colour blindness test

If we’re putting something out into the world in the year 2018, it really should be accessible to everyone. What I like about this tutorial is that it explains in lots of scientific detail what colour blindness is and how things look to people with different kinds of colour blindness, and then it goes on to give tips on what you can do to make your designs easier for everyone to view. Read the tutorial to learn how to tell protanopia from deuteranomaly and cater for people with either of them.

Switch From Font Icons to SVG

SVG icon

Icon fonts are popular among web designers, and for good reason. But did you know that SVG can sometimes be a better choice for handling icons? Take the course to find out why you should consider using SVG for icons and to learn the practical steps for switching from icon fonts to SVG.

Make an Unbounce Landing Page

Landing page example

A well-designed landing page can make a huge difference to your website, enabling you to steer visitors clearly towards the action you want them to take, whether that’s signing up for your mailing list or buying your latest product. Luckily, Unbounce makes it easy to create the landing page you want, and this tutorial shows you exactly how to do it. Start creating your landing page now.

Create an Artistic Collage in Photoshop

Collage in Photoshop

Feeling creative? This next tutorial is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with new artistic techniques while picking up some tips on Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom too. Juxtapose jarring images and symbols, mix in some bright colours, and create a striking result. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Build a CMS With Laravel

Build a CMS With Laravel

Or for a very different kind of creativity, why not learn to build your very own content management system? This is a really comprehensive course that includes 23 video lessons with a total viewing time of over four hours. It’s recently been updated with brand new lessons to take advantage of the latest features in Laravel 5, so why not take this comprehensive course and learn pretty much everything there is to know about creating a CMS with Laravel.

Colour Correct Video in Adobe Premiere

How to Color Correct Video in Adobe Premiere

Don’t you just hate it when you shoot video that looks perfect in every way—except that the colour balance is off? Problems with tone, white balance and other colour settings are common when shooting video, and they can ruin the end result. So watch this free video to get instructions on salvaging your work by adjusting the colour in Adobe Premiere.

Create Cool Text Styles With SVG

SVG text styles

Remember that earlier I was extolling the virtues of SVG for fonts? Well, it turns out that you can create some pretty amazing text effects with it too. Bubble bevel, anyone? Chunky metal? Or how about a neon light effect? Take the course to complete five practical projects that will teach you a whole lot about using SVG to manipulate text.

Create a “Celebration” Illustration

Champagne celebration illustration

The holiday season may be over, but hopefully there’ll still be plenty of reasons to celebrate in the year to come. So why not celebrate with this elegant champagne illustration? What I like about it is that it’s built using just basic shapes, tools and effects in Adobe Illustrator—no drawing skills required! Find out how to do it.

Build Your Own Web App With Flask

Build a Web App With the Flask Microframework for Python

Sometimes, the best way to learn is by getting your hands dirty and doing something. Flask is a popular microframework for creating web apps in the Python language, and this course teaches you how to use it to build your very own file-based wiki app. Watch the free preview to find out more.

Write a Great Motivational Speech

Motivational speech

Whether you see yourself pacing around the stage at TED or simply want to deliver a compelling speech at work or school, this tutorial is packed with tips to help you put together a killer motivational speech. Read the tutorial to learn not only how to engage your audience, but how to inspire them.

 

Master Photo Manipulation Techniques

Egyptian goddess photo manipulation

The great thing about photo manipulation is that if, like me, you can’t draw to save your life, you can still create some amazing scenes like the one above, just by merging photos together and applying some effects. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but this tutorial breaks it all down into easy steps. So why not learn photo manipulation today?

Make a Professional Resume in 10 Minutes

Resume building in Photoshop

Along with making New Year’s resolutions, another popular activity at this time of year is making a new career move. If you need to update your resume to propel you towards that dream job in 2018, this short course is for you. Building on a professional template from Envato Elements, you’ll learn how to create a resume that is clean, targeted, and highlights your skills and abilities. Take the course to give your career a boost this month.

Learn Natural Language Processing (NLP) in iOS 11

NLP tweet analyzing app

Machine learning is a hot topic right now, and it’s only going to get more important as time goes on and the possibilities and capabilities of the technology multiply. This tutorial will help you surf the crest of the wave by introducing you to natural language processing, a key element of machine learning. Essentially, it’s the means by which computers understand human speech—not just grasping the basic meaning, but doing complex things like analysing sentiment and pulling out key information. Read the tutorial to find out more about how it works and to get some practice using it in iOS 11.

Take Better Photos by Knowing the Sun’s Position

Calculate the sun's position with SunCalc

We’ve all seen great photos ruined by the sun being in the wrong place—usually right behind our beautiful subject, making it into a silhouette shorn of all its details. Of course, the sun is never really in the “wrong place” at all. It moves predictably around the sky, and there will be a time of day—or a different season—in which you can get the shot you want. Read the tutorial to find out how you can use a simple web app to plan your photography shoots with the sun in mind.

Design a Mobile UI in Sketch

Mobile UI design in Sketch

Sketch is a powerful digital design application, and it’s perfectly suited to those who design user interfaces for web or mobile apps. In this course, you’ll learn how to create a mobile UI design in Sketch, working from an initial wireframe all the way through to a completed design.

Make a Climate Change Infographic

Climate Change Infographic in Adobe InDesign

Here’s an idea for the New Year: do something to help future generations have a habitable planet on which to make and break their own resolutions. An infographic is a great way to communicate complex information and statistics in an engaging way, and this tutorial teaches you how to create one in Adobe InDesign. Find out how it’s done.

Build a Branding Package the Easy Way

Making a Facebook cover

Branding is a powerful tool for building a company’s reputation—some of the major world brands are worth billions of dollars. Having a consistent and professional branding package across print and web can really help set a business apart from its competitors. This course teaches you how to create this package on a budget by using Envato Elements and Affinity Designer. You’ll produce a logo, branding colors, a customized website, a business card, a Facebook cover design, and more. Get started here.

Create an Android Music Player App With Anko

Create a Music Player App With Anko

Anko is a Kotlin library that makes it easier to build Android apps. What better way to learn it than by getting your hands dirty building a music player app that can automatically pick and play random songs from the user’s device? It’s quite a complex app, but the tutorial makes it easy to understand. Get the full instructions and code.

Design for Visual Impairment

Example of an accessibility browser plugin being used to change the contrast of a web page

If you have a website or do any kind of design work for the web, you should be conscious of how to design sites that everyone can view easily—including the millions of people with color blindness, low vision, blindness, or other visual impairments. If you’re not, or if you need a refresher, then read this accessibility tutorial to make sure you’re not inadvertently excluding potential visitors and customers through simple but common design flaws.

Learn the Fundamentals of JavaScript

JavaScript fundamentals

There are lots of JavaScript tutorials and courses out there on the web, but many of them deal with a particular aspect of the language and assume some pre-existing general knowledge. It’s quite rare to find a systematic guide that teaches you the language from the ground up. This JavaScript Fundamentals course does exactly that. It starts with the basic concepts and builds slowly over the course of 7 hours and 61 separate lessons to teach you more complex topics and show you how to use JavaScript in practice. If you want to code for the web, you need a solid understanding of JavaScript, and this course is perfect. Take the course to start learning today!

 

Create Your Own Color Font

Make a color font

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, color fonts are shaping up to be one of the hottest design trends of 2018. This tutorial teaches you how to create your very own color font using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator and the powerful Fontself extension. So why not learn this important new design skill?

Learn Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer

Speaking of new skills, have you tried Gravit Designer yet? It’s a completely free vector application that was launched earlier this year. It’s available in the browser as well as on Linux, Mac, ChromeOS and Windows, making it arguably the most accessible application of its type in the world. Learn how to use it in this thorough introductory course.

Build a Slack Bot With Python

Slack Bot with Python

If you do any kind of online collaboration, you’ve probably come across Slack. It’s used by over 50,000 companies—and yep, Envato is one of those. This tutorial shows you the code and takes you through all the steps to build your own unique integration with Slack, using Python for the logic. Learn the steps here.

Master PowerPoint Templates

Use PPT templates

We all know that a presentation looks smarter and more coherent when we use a well-designed template, don’t we? But getting the most out of a PowerPoint template is another story. This in-depth video course shows you how to create a polished presentation from start to finish, using the popular X Note template as an example. So take the course and move your presentations to the next level.

Speed Up Your Design Process With Studio

Studio

More new design software for you to learn. Studio is a free online UI design tool, ideal for web designers or anyone else designing for digital products. Watch the video to get up to speed with Studio quickly and easily.

Stabilise Your Video Footage

Stabilise video

Have you ever taken some great video footage, only to find that it is too shaky to be usable? Unless you use a tripod or have the steady hands of a neurosurgeon, the answer is probably yes. Luckily, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has stabilization processing built in. Find out how to stabilise your video footage in this video tutorial.

Understand Basic Typography

Typography terms

Any designer will tell you that typography is crucial to good design. From company brands to newspaper headlines to advertisements to websites, you can see the power of typography in action everywhere. But, like any specialised field, typography has its own vocabulary, which can be confusing for beginners. Watch this 60-second typography video to learn how to tell your counters from your spines and your stems from your shoulders.

Type International Characters More Quickly

International characters

If you often switch between different languages (or if you just enjoy using words like “smörgåsbord”), you’ve probably encountered the annoying situation of taking ages to type a letter with an accent that’s not included on your standard keyboard. On a Mac, of course, you can hold down the key and see a range of common accents, but that can still take a while. There’s a better way, involving automation apps. Learn the shortcuts here.

Design Icons With Adobe XD

Adobe XD icon design

In the wake of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the associated consumer frenzy, you may well be sick of 2 for 1 deals. But this course offers genuine value, by allowing you both to brush up your icon design skills and to learn Adobe XD at the same time. Take the course to get instructions on using Adobe XD to design a range of useful icons.

Learn to Code Securely in Swift 4

Secure coding in Swift

If you want to create apps for Apple devices from watches to iPhones, Swift is the programming language to use. With version 4 only released a few months ago, now is the perfect time to get up to speed with secure coding in Swift 4. Read the in-depth tutorial to learn about concurrency, race conditions, Grand Central Dispatch, and more.

Master PHP

Fundamentals of PHP

Take a look at your favourite website. There’s a good chance that it was built with PHP. This powerful programming language created a big proportion of the web, and it’s easy to learn and easy to use for writing web applications. In this comprehensive, seven-hour video course, you’ll learn all the fundamentals of PHP, from the basics of using variables and writing loops and functions up to coding classes for simple object-oriented programming (OOP). Along the way, you’ll learn all the most important skills for writing apps for the web. Take the course to get started building your own web applications.

Create an Inspirational Photo Grid for Instagram

Photo grid for Instagram

You’ve probably seen them before—those grids of beautiful photos, often accompanied by an inspirational message. This tutorial shows you how to create them yourself, either in Photoshop or with a simple grid-building app. It’s quite easy, and the results can be impressive. So why not give it a try?

Draw a Mandala

Draw a mandala

This tutorial hits the trifecta—you can learn a new skill, explore your creativity, and relax at the same time! What’s not to like? Drawing a mandala can be very therapeutic, and although it looks complex, it’s actually quite simple to do. So learn all the steps and start sharpening your drawing skills while relaxing your mind.

Use Gulp to Speed Up Your Web Design Work

Using Gulp for Web Design

If you’re a web designer, you’ll want to learn about Gulp, a simple JavaScript task runner that can really speed up your work and save you a lot of time. Take this in-depth course to discover what Gulp is, how it works, and how you can set up some super-efficient workflows for handling CSS files, JavaScript files, images, and more.

Pay Tribute to a Hitchcock Classic

Vertigo movie poster tribute

I love old movie posters from the 1950s and 60s. The tools available to designers back then were so much simpler, but there were no limits to their creativity, and some of the results were just fantastic. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a movie poster paying tribute to the classic Vertigo poster designed by Saul Bass. You’ll learn a lot about Adobe InDesign along the way, while also doing some Photoshop and Illustrator work. So get started on this wonderful project, and upload your own version in the comments for others to take a look at.

Confront the Command Line

Terminal

If you use a Mac, you’ve probably come across the “Terminal” icon, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably ignored it. But the Terminal gives you unfettered access to the deeper reaches of your Mac via the command line (if you remember MS-DOS, think of that classic C:\> prompt and the commands you used to enter). You can do some pretty useful things that just aren’t possible with the usual graphic interface (such as “caffeinating” your Mac). So take this beginners’ tutorial to discover some nifty examples and get started using the command line.

Design a Landing Page With Adobe XD

Adobe XD landing page

It’s still quite early days for Adobe XD, Adobe’s user experience design software, which only came out of beta a few weeks ago. So why not be one of the early adopters? This course shows you how to use Adobe XD to wireframe and design a landing page from start to finish. Take the course and build your skills in this useful application.

Create a Spirit Day Text Effect

Create a Spirit Day text effect

Envato Tuts+ ran quite a few tutorials and articles last month to mark Spirit Day. Although the day has now passed, this tutorial will still teach you some useful skills for creating text effects in Adobe Illustrator. Plus you’ll be prepared for next year’s event, which will probably come around again sooner than you expect! Find out how to create the effect.

Childproof Your iPad

Childproof your iPad

Those newspaper stories about kids running up huge credit-card bills on their parents’ iPads are fun, aren’t they? But they’re probably not so much fun for the parents involved. If you have kids or know someone who has kids, there’s a high chance that your beloved iPad will fall into their hands one day. So take this tutorial and find out how to protect your iPad from damage (both internal and external), as well as protecting kids from coming across bad stuff on the internet.

Learn the Kotlin Programming Language

Kotlin fundamentals

Kotlin is a new programming language for coding Android apps, and it’s way more concise and secure than traditional languages like Java. This course teaches you everything you need to know to get started coding in Kotlin, from the basics of getting set up and writing your first code right through to advanced features like lambdas, higher-order functions, and using Java and Kotlin together in the same app. Take the course and add a powerful new language to your toolkit.

Learn Creative Typography

Creative Typography course

Think of creative designs, and maybe you think of a creative use of images, shapes, and colour. But you can do a lot with plain old letters, and this course shows you how. You get to play with typography and develop your creativity as you create a concept-driven typographic artwork. Take the course to give your creativity a boost this month.

Turn Your Cat Into a Zombie

Zombie cat

Yes, Halloween is coming around again, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time to turn your cat into a zombie. In fact, this tutorial shows you how to turn any portrait, whether human or animal, into a terrifying, dead-eyed, blood-spattered zombie. Even if you hate Halloween as much as I do, you’ll still pick up some useful Photoshop techniques in this one. So take the zombie-making tutorial and see how it’s done.

Beef Up Your WordPress Security

WordPress security tips

If, like me, you run a WordPress site, you probably alternate between feeling good about the number of websites that use your chosen platform (currently 28% of the web and rising) and feeling worried about the constant security threats. Take this short course to learn the key steps you should take to make your WordPress site much more secure.

Create an Android App That Recognizes Images

Image recognition app

OK, the simple app created here doesn’t look as good as the zombie cat, does it? Fair enough. But once you’ve learned the skill of incorporating image recognition into an Android app, there are so many possibilities for more complex apps. This tutorial shows you how to use machine learning to recognize the content of images with the IBM Watson Visual Recognition service. Get the step-by-step instructions and code samples here.

Draw a Monkey

Draw a monkey

Drawing tutorials can be frustrating—they sometimes seem to be written for people who already know how to draw. But this tutorial is truly for beginners, and it breaks the whole process down into simple shapes like ovals, curves, and crosses. It’s a great way of learning to draw, and it may just help you see the structures behind objects so that you can draw things other than monkeys. Read the full instructions.

Optimize Your Website Without AMP

Optimize a Website without AMP

Google’s AMP is awesome! It’s a great way of optimizing your website with simple plug-and-play code. Why would you want to optimize a site without it? Well, actually there are several reasons, and you’ll learn more about them in this course. You’ll also learn exactly how to convert an existing AMP-based site to use non-AMP equivalents, helping you to make your site blazing fast while keeping total control. Take the course to find out more.

Make a Professional Business Card in 10 Steps

Design a business card in Adobe Indesign

Lots of people just use generic business cards, but if you really want to make an impression, it’s much better to do it yourself. You get a chance to showcase your creativity while ensuring your business card sticks out from the crowd. It doesn’t have to be complicated either—this tutorial shows you how to create a great-looking business card from scratch in Adobe InDesign in just ten steps. Find out how.

Create a Job Board Website With WordPress

job board website

A job board is a great type of website to build for any industry or niche—it allows you to provide really useful information (everybody likes to be able to find job opportunities), and your traffic and referrals can grow fast. This tutorial shows you how to create one using a WordPress theme and some simple customisation, with no coding skills required. Start creating your job board website here.

Use Swift Design Patterns

Swift design patterns

In the world of coding, design patterns are incredibly useful ways of solving common problems that arise in development. But they can be abstract and hard to grasp for beginners, and you can end up struggling to tell your factory from your facade. This comprehensive, 24-video, 3.5-hour course will set it all straight, with detailed explanations and examples of how each pattern can be used in the Swift programming language. Take the course here.

Create a Plastic Jelly Style

Plastic jelly style

Wait, doesn’t that style look a bit dated? More 2007 than 2017? Yes, well spotted! This last tutorial is a bit of a nostalgia trip. Tuts+ turned 10 years old in September, and to celebrate, we decided to recreate the very first tutorial on the site, by Envato founder Collis Ta’eed, but this time using up-to-date techniques in the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite. So step back in time with us, and start making plastic jelly like it’s 2007!

Create an Android Instant App Feature

How to Create an Instant App Feature

If you’re not up to speed with Android’s new Instant Apps feature yet, this tutorial is ideal for you. Instant Apps let people load entire sections of your app on demand, just by tapping a URL and without having to download the full app. This gives you a great opportunity to get your app in front of as many new users as possible. Learn how to create an Android instant app feature here.

Create a Modern Business Card Using Adobe Photoshop

Create a business card in Photoshop

Yes, we do live in a world of social media and online connections, but a good printed business card is still as important to today’s freelancer or business owner as it was to Don Draper in Mad Men. Learn how to create your own professional business card design in this step-by-step Photoshop tutorial.

Use Linux for Web Design

Linux for Web Design

If you’re a web designer, your choices are not limited to macOS or Windows. You can also work very effectively in Linux, and in fact there are some real advantages to doing so. Take the course to find out all about using Linux for web design.

Improve Your Email Open Rates

Increase email open rates

No matter what kind of work you do, I’m willing to bet that you send emails, and that you want people to open them. This tutorial shows you 10 simple steps you can take to improve your email open rates. Who knew that the way you capitalise your subject line can make more people open the email? I didn’t, but the data suggests it’s true. Read the tutorial to discover all 10 email tips.

Create an AI-Powered Chatbot

Create a chatbot

Artificial intelligence is here—and I’m not talking about those dumb social media algorithms that collect masses of data on you and yet still can’t arrange your feed in the right order. I’m talking about chatbots that can hold increasingly realistic conversations with us. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a simple conversational chatbot using the IBM Watson Conversation service. The best part, for me, is the way it serves up inspirational quotes. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Learn About HDR Photography in 60 Seconds

What is HDR photography?

Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to spend learning something new. But everyone can spare a minute, can’t they? That’s the idea behind the Tuts+ 60-second videos—you learn a new skill or technique in just one minute. In this one, you’ll get an introduction to HDR photography. Watch the 60-second video here.

Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation

What do you get if you take a photo of the sky, put it in Photoshop, and add photos of a cat, a wall, some trees and a bunch of fish on top? The result, for most of us, will be an amateurish mess. But with the techniques covered in this tutorial, you’ll get the bizarre, impossible and yet weirdly realistic scene shown above. Click here to learn how it’s done.

Learn React Through 5 Practical Examples

Five Practical Examples to Learn React

React is one of the most popular web frameworks, and if you want to learn to use it, what better way than through some practical examples? In this course, you’ll build a digital clock, an Ajax-powered navbar and more, and in the process you’ll learn all the basics of coding React components from JSX and managing state right through to higher-order components and lifecycle methods. Sign up for the course.

Understand How the WordPress Loop Works

The WordPress Loop

If you’ve been working with WordPress for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the Loop. But do you really understand what it is and how to use it? This short, ten-minute Coffee Break Course will get you fully up to speed. Start learning about the WordPress Loop.

Create Your Own Stress Cave

Stress Cave

It’s great to learn new technologies and computer skills, but it’s no use having these skills if you’re too unproductive to use them. In a busy work day, it’s easy to get derailed by stress and its close companion, procrastination. So read this quick productivity tip to learn how to take a step back into the stress cave and take some simple steps to help you see the right way forward.

Create a Haunting Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation scene

Photo manipulation is a wonderful way to create whole new worlds from your imagination, without needing to draw or paint anything yourself. In this tutorial, you learn how to take seven different photos and blend them together into one weirdly haunting scene. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Animate Icons!

Create animated icons

Sometimes good design is eye-catching, but other times it’s almost unnoticeable. A well-designed icon may not win any great plaudits, but it’s one of the little details that adds up to a better user experience for your website, app, game, presentation, etc. So why not take things to the next level by adding animation. Take the short video-based course for full instructions on creating icons in Adobe Illustrator and then animating them in After Effects.

Draw Hair in 4 Different Styles

How to Draw Hair

Did you know that the average human head has about 100,000 individual hairs? What that means is that if you want to draw someone’s hair, you can’t draw separate lines for each strand—you need to learn some tricks to create the illusion of 100,000 hairs while using far fewer lines. Take this drawing tutorial to see how it’s done.

Get Up and Running With Sketch

Sketch course

Most of these design tutorials and courses use Adobe software because it’s so popular and offers so many features. But Adobe is not the only game in town. Take this comprehensive, 17-part video course to get up and running with Sketch, a powerful digital design application that’s great for icon design, web design, and more.

Learn the Quick Way to Create Professional Logos

Create a logo kit

Have you ever had one of those annoying clients who demands double the work in half the time? Of course you have. Here’s a trick for icon designers: have a few flexible logo kits ready to customise so that you can meet even the tightest deadline. Take this short course to learn how to create the three building blocks of a successful logo kit.

Paint “Love” in Sign Language

Love in sign language

OK, I’ll be honest—I’m mostly just including this one because I love the end result. But it does also teach some really useful digital painting skills. Look at the dramatic lighting and the realistic textures of each hand; those are some techniques you could use in a wide variety of projects. See how to create this painting from scratch.

Make an Animated GIF

Create an animated GIF

Whether you love them or hate them, animated GIFs are all over the web. This tutorial shows you an easy method of putting together an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop. The example is of a wolf’s glowing eyes, but feel free to use the same techniques for laughing dogs, weird celebrity mashups, or whatever your heart desires. Start animating your GIFs here.

Go Back to the Nineties

Nineties flyer

The 1990s are popular again! Who knew? As far as I remember, the 1990s weren’t even popular in the 1990s. But if those headache-inducing colours and shouting fonts give you a flood of happy nostalgia, this is your chance to step back in time to the days of oversized cargo pants, overused fluorescent colours, and Hootie & the Blowfish. (Oh, and you can also learn some useful flyer design skills in Adobe InDesign.) Enter the time machine here.

Send a Ransom Note

Ransom note text effect

Well, no—don’t actually send a ransom note, OK? That would be creepy. But this tutorial does teach some useful skills to help you manipulate fonts and work with shapes and textures in Photoshop to create a realistic text effect. Take the tutorial to learn how it works.

Create a Realistic Mockup

Create a wine bottle mockup

If you’ve ever worked in product or packaging design, you know the importance of a good mockup. Clients often struggle to see the potential of a design until you show them how it will look in the real world. This final tutorial in our list teaches you to create your own wine-bottle mockup from scratch in Photoshop. Along the way, you’ll learn how to manipulate photos, create realistic shadows and reflections, add lighting, and more. Ready to get started? Click here for the full instructions.

Publish Facebook Instant Articles

Create Facebook Instant Articles

OK, it’s true that Facebook’s “Instant Articles” feature has been controversial, and you may not love the idea of having your content living on Facebook’s platform instead of your own. But the advantage is that readers get to access your articles at a lightning-fast speed, and your content fits in seamlessly with the Facebook app, making for a great user experience. And whereas at first it was only for large publishers, now it’s available for all of us. Get a step-by-step guide to publishing Instant Articles in this tutorial.

Master Affinity Designer

Learn Affinity Designer

Just when Adobe seemed to have the vector design market locked down, along came Affinity Designer a couple of years ago, winning a whole host of new admirers among web designers and graphic designers. If you haven’t tried it yet, this course is a perfect way to find out what all the fuss is about. You’ll learn Affinity Designer from the ground up—and the course was recently updated to cover new features like artboards, constraints, symbols, and some powerful new typography tools.

Use Style Guides for Accessibility

Accessibility style guide

Keeping your skills current is not just about learning new technologies. It’s also about important concepts like accessibility. Making your sites accessible to as many people as possible is not just the right thing to do; it also makes business sense. You work hard to attract visitors, so why turn some of them away because you’ve failed to make the simple changes that would allow them to view your site? I like this quick tutorial because it shows you how to create a style guide for accessibility, while also introducing you to some important accessibility concepts and techniques along the way.

Build an Onboarding Tour Using JavaScript

JavaScript onboarding tour

I don’t much like the word “onboarding”, but I do love those interactive tours that pop up when you visit a new site or app, showing you how everything works with simple boxes that you can click through (or click out of) at your own pace. This short course shows you how to build your own tour from scratch, using HTML, CSS, and vanilla JavaScript.

Design Better Logos

Logo design in Adobe Illustrator

Logo design is one of those things that may well be handled by a specialist graphic designer, but it’s always a useful skill for a web designer to possess. You’ll also get a useful rundown of the major tools, panels and features in Adobe Illustrator, which will be useful for other design tasks beyond logos.

Manipulate Colors in JavaScript

Chromajs

It’s good to learn new skills, but it’s even better to build something useful. This screencast ticks both of those boxes. Take a look at the demo—a neat little tool that lets you select a starting color and have a tasteful color scheme generated for you. You’ll learn how to create that yourself, using the Chroma.js library.

Get Hands-On Practice With the CSS Flexbox Model

Flexbox slider

Flexbox is a relatively new layout mode in CSS3, and as the name suggests, it can give you some wonderful flexibility in your page layouts. This popular course lets you get your hands dirty by tackling six projects designed to help you learn Flexbox thoroughly. And now it’s been updated with two more bonus projects on modals and sliders, so it’s an even better way of getting up to speed.

Work Better With Other People

Collaborate on website content

No matter how well you know the ins and outs of CSS, the reality of working as a web designer is that you’ll have to deal with other human beings at some point, and that’s when things can get so complicated that you end up yearning for the comfort of your code editor. This tutorial looks at some useful ways to get the content of a website prioritized among multiple members of a team with the least fuss.

Build Forms With CSS Grid

CSS Grid form

Yes, I know. Forms are not the most exciting topic in the world, are they? But the attraction of this tutorial is not the forms, but the way you create them—using the CSS Grid Layout Module, another quite recent addition to the web designer’s arsenal. It shows you how to create a form the “traditional” way, using floats, and then how to achieve the same end result using CSS Grid.

Get a Refresher on the Basics

Web design pointers

With so much new stuff to learn, sometimes it’s valuable to go back to basics and make sure you’ve still got a solid grasp of the essentials. Or maybe you’re just getting started and want to avoid some of the most common mistakes. Either way, these 10 simple design pointers from Tuts+ Web Design Editor Ian Yates will help you make sure you’re on the right track.

Keep Your Mac Efficient and Well Maintained

Mac maintenance

Have you ever taken your Mac to an Apple store and seen the “genius” running a diagnostic test on your computer? This post shows you how to run that test yourself and interpret the results, as well as checking the health of your hard drive—all without the help of a lanyard-wearing hipster genius.

Design a Vintage Music Festival Flyer

Music festival flyer

Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner, and festival season will soon be in full swing. I love the summer colours and the vintage VW campervan in this design—but more importantly, the tutorial teaches you some great skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. If you’re shivering in the southern hemisphere right now, just think of this one as forward planning.

Add MailChimp Signup to Your WordPress Site

MailChimp WordPress form

Some Tuts+ courses are several hours long and cover lots of ground, but this one is very short (just six minutes) and very simple. It teaches you something that sounds straightforward but can cause headaches if it’s not done right—how to add a MailChimp signup form to your WordPress site. In six minutes, you can get your site fully set up to start gathering email subscribers. Not bad, huh?

Know When to Fly Your Drone

When to fly your drone

I love watching aerial video footage. There’s something so calming and majestic about seeing the world from the perspective of a bird. In this video tutorial, you can learn about the best times of day to fly your drone for filming purposes (and in a companion tutorial, you can learn about the pros and cons of different weather conditions). I’m sure it’s all useful information, but I like the tutorials purely for the eye candy.

Make an Explainer Video

Explainer video

Have you noticed that explainer videos are everywhere? And they all have the same annoyingly cheery music? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to put together a good explainer video for your company or personal site. My one gripe is that it’s a written tutorial—being a fan of recursion, I’d have preferred an explainer video on how to make explainer videos. But it’s still a good post. Check it out.

Convert a Photo Into a Charcoal Drawing

Charcoal drawing Photoshop action

Charcoal drawings look amazing, but creating them involves both getting your hands dirty and spending years on the painstaking and often frustrating process of learning to draw. This video shows you how to skip both of these steps and just create a cool charcoal drawing from any photo with a simple Photoshop action.

Create a Split-Screen Slider With JavaScript

Splitscreen slider

I love the split-screen effect here—as you drag your mouse across an image, a line splits the screen and it changes from colour to duotone. Try the demo at the top of the tutorial to see how it works! Then you can learn the process of creating it, with both a screencast and written instructions to make it easy to understand.

Design Buttons, Textures and Icons for Video Games

Design game UI assets

The thing about what video-game designers call “UI assets” (and the rest of us call “buttons, icons and stuff”) is that, if they’re designed well, you probably don’t even notice them. But if they look clunky, they can ruin the gaming experience. This course teaches you how to design them well. Plus the aesthetic reminds me of playing The Secret of Monkey Island as a child. Remember Guybrush Threepwood, anyone?

 

Record Vocals Like a Professional

Record vocals

Want to be the next Lana Del Rey or Justin Bieber? Or maybe you even have some more up-to-date cultural references. In any case, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to record professional vocals using just your computer and some simple equipment. Then you’ll be well on your way to YouTube stardom—all you need to do next is….

Make a YouTube Banner

YouTube banner

Even with the most professionally recorded vocals, some of your potential fans may be put off if your YouTube banner looks as if it was designed by a hyperactive child with unsupervised access to Microsoft Paint. This tutorial teaches you to put together a simple banner for a YouTube channel using stock images and basic tools in Adobe Photoshop.

Draw a Skull

Draw a skull

Macabre? Perhaps. But what I like about this tutorial is that you can produce a great end result even if you have zero drawing skill (yes, that would be me!). Monika Zagrobelna breaks the whole process down into such simple steps that you really can’t go wrong. If you can draw lines and circles and have access to a pencil, you can draw a convincing human skull.

Tell Your “em” From Your “rem”

em and rem

If you’ve even dabbled in web design, you’ve probably come across the “em” and “rem” units of measurement. But what are they? What’s the difference, and when might you want to use each one? This one-hour course will get you crystal clear.

Solve Android’s Most Common Error Messages

Android error messages

Stumped by a ClassCastException? Tearing your hair out over a missing R.layout.main? Wondering who in Android-land thought that “Only the Original Thread That Created a View Hierarchy Can Touch Its Views” would be a helpful error message to give to human beings? This article demystifies 13 of the most common error messages to plague Android developers.

Hit Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero

I’ve saved the best for last. While we may love to be able to draw, paint, create apps or become a YouTube star, I think a lot of us would settle for an empty email inbox. This tutorial will teach you how to reach the “You have no messages” promised land. You can also grab a free eBook for more detailed email mastery tips.

There’s More…

This post has just skimmed the surface of what Tuts+ has published recently, and in the full archives going back ten years, there’s even more. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for in this post, you can search the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,000 courses and 25,000 tutorials to find exactly what you need.

The post Master These Awesome New Skills in June 2018 appeared first on Envato.

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What is Gutenberg? An Explainer https://envato.com/blog/what-is-gutenberg-an-explainer/ Fri, 25 May 2018 05:52:03 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=69328 WordPress is about to change in a really big way. After many months of development and testing, the platform is making one of the most drastic shifts in its history. A shift that may frustrate many, but could make building a website a whole lot easier for a whole lot of people. It’s called Gutenberg. […]

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WordPress is about to change in a really big way.

After many months of development and testing, the platform is making one of the most drastic shifts in its history. A shift that may frustrate many, but could make building a website a whole lot easier for a whole lot of people.

It’s called Gutenberg.

Classic WordPress

Originally, to create a WordPress website, and turn it into something that fit a brand, required a developer and designer, or for you to have some knowledge of code.

They’d need to create a theme, or buy one from a site like Envato and customize it.

And, in most cases, to customize it further, you’d need their help too.

Page Builders

This convoluted process opened the door to page builders, a category of plugin that makes editing WordPress websites, using a compatible theme, more visual.

Products like Visual Composer, and Elementor have made entire businesses off of making WordPress sites more easily customizable. They make composing a web page more visually interactive, and allow you to create entire sites, in some cases, with drag and drop functionality.

Page Builders provide you with what are called “blocks” in the side menu.

Each block represents an area of content, be it text, photos, video etc. You drag the chosen block into the main canvas, and from there you can customize its look, and functionality.

You can combine blocks, and even save them as templates that fit your customizations and ensure continuity. Or, if you prefer, you can style each individual block completely differently. Page Builders make this entirely possible, and super easy.

To achieve the same thing using the classic WordPress editor would require some development knowledge of complex shortcode. And even then, it can involve a lot of trial and error to ensure it appears on the final page the way you imagined.

Page Builders like Visual Composer and Elementor, allow you to see the results of your changes live as you’re making them.

As a result, these plugins have become, for millions of WordPress sites, a must have.

Which brings us to Gutenberg.

What is Gutenberg?

The next major update to WordPress will see the introduction of the Gutenberg editor.

It will see the usually stark backend with limited functionality, transformed into something resembling the page builders we’ve just talked about.

Pages will be broken up into content blocks that you can drag and drop into the canvas, edit their style and functionality, and watch your web page forming live before your eyes, with little to no coding required.

Want to change the font? You can do that and see the result straight away.

Want to change the an image, you can do that and see how it sits on your site instantaneously.

Inserting a video player, image gallery, buttons, or changing the color scheme will all be able to be done much easier; a positive change for the less technically savvy.

However, not everyone will be happy.

Some developers, and devotees to the classic WordPress editor, have already expressed their disinterest in what they see as a slightly dumbed down UI.

While extending the editor in WordPress’ previous standardized interface was complicated, the ability to easily extend the classic editor gave those users full control over their sites.

On top of that, there’s the fact that a lot of themes will not be compatible with Gutenberg when WordPress finally rolls out the new editor.

While this can be adjusted by theme creators, there’s a risk some less savvy customers may try to update to the Gutenberg edition of WordPress and mess up their site.

Plus, what does this mean for the business models of WordPress developers. If it’s easier for mere mortals to create and edit websites, will there be less of a dependency on them?

They’re all valid concerns.

Gutenberg is the biggest change to WordPress in over a decade. You’re never going to make a sweeping change like this and please everyone.

Plus, there are sure to be growing pains. The chances of the new editor working flawlessly from day one are virtually nil. Like any update like this, it will be a work in progress for much time to come, even after its release.

In preparation for the inevitable mix of confusion and outrage they’re expecting from some in the WordPress community, the core team have a plugin that replaces the Gutenberg editor with the classic one. And perhaps that’s something to consider doing until they’ve worked out the kinks.

But if WordPress are putting it all on the line to rollout an interface change as significant as this, you have to assume there’s a reason for it.

Offering a more visually interactive way to build websites, that brings WordPress’s functionality in line with other website builders like Squarespace and Wix, brings their offering up to date. And, hopefully, sets them up for a future where people might not even be building sites on computers anymore.

So, buckle up. Because change is coming.

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Best WordPress Blogging Themes https://envato.com/blog/best-wordpress-blogging-themes/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:54:01 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68395 Blogging is a powerful form of personal and commercial representation online. Whether it involves establishing a brand, authoring editorials on lifestyle topics, driving traffic to earn affiliate income, or really anything regarding creating content, WordPress offers the most efficient method of creating blogs. And WordPress themes make it easy to enhance your blog with professional-level […]

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Blogging is a powerful form of personal and commercial representation online. Whether it involves establishing a brand, authoring editorials on lifestyle topics, driving traffic to earn affiliate income, or really anything regarding creating content, WordPress offers the most efficient method of creating blogs.

And WordPress themes make it easy to enhance your blog with professional-level designs. The following 10 WordPress themes are a great place to start if you’re looking for a theme for your new blog or want to give your existing site a new look.

What Features to Look For in Blogging Themes

So, what do you expect from a theme? And what do you intend to do with your WordPress site?

Answering these questions with a few tips on what makes a great wordpress theme, will allow you to make the best decision. There are some features that might help you decide if the theme is right for you.

Plugins

Some themes come bundled with plugins. This can be extremely helpful when building a blog from scratch. For instance, Visual Composer allows you to create your site using front-end editing. WooCommerce provides for e-commerce integration. Ultimate Addons offers various design tweaks. And so on.

Looking at the scope of plugins allows you to pick a theme specific to your needs. No need for dedicated e-commerce features? You can skip WooCommerce. Need a lot of assistance with the design of buttons, tabs, colors, or anything else? Make sure the theme has Ultimate Addons. You get the idea.

Social Accessibility

Making sure a theme provides all the elements necessary for sharing your content is an indisputable feature. Certainly something to note, I’ve made sure the 10 blogging themes selected are up to par with the most common social venues (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).

Ease of Use

The whole point of WordPress is a streamlined, front-end experience that doesn’t require a curriculum of study for you to use it. With this in mind, a WordPress theme, regardless of the depth it offers, should be optimized for ease of use. You can have a tremendous amount of customization options and utility, however, these features need to be presented in an accessible and organized manner. You shouldn’t be digging for ideas from a theme, they should pop-out, and be something that naturally connects to your ideas.

Demos

This term refers to that of a pre-built web page. The ability to create said page in a single click makes this method very attractive. As someone who works in the music industry, creating a beat or sound clip every single time would be an unnecessary workload. Demos allow you to create your WordPress site as streamlined as possible giving you the ability to focus on your actual content.

Top 10 WordPress Blogging Themes

Newspaper is the ultimate theme for creating an electronic newspaper. You will have access to all the tools you need to create and customize your blog. Every facet is covered from typography to customizable layouts, including those for magazines. One-click demo pages are also included so you can focus on the content. The theme’s optimized design and excellent customer support round off the feature set nicely. If you’re building any high-volume news blog, you can rest assured all the features are up-to-date, and social media integration ensures you can get the word out.

Other features include:

  • Ultimate Typography
  • 400+ templates
  • Unlimited sidebars
  • Custom widgets
  • Custom page builder elements
  • Google Adsense
  • Built-in review system
  • BuddyPress, and bbPress support
  • Built on TagDiv framework

This expansive theme offers grand variety and is loaded with features. With a wide selection of layouts to choose from for news, magazine, and contemporary editorial and blogging layouts, this theme is a one-click solution for instantly creating pages. You also have support for the top plugins and the theme is optimized for SEO.

Some notable features include:

  • 650+ Google Web fonts
  • 40+ shortcodes
  • Built-in review system
  • Free premium plugins, iLightBox, Instagramy, Taqyeem
  • RTL and WPML support
  • 35 custom widgets, including social counter widget, weather, newsletters, banners, and much more

If highlighting the latest scoop is your thing, or you just want space for editorials, SimpleMag is the best theme for feature articles. Focused on layouts befitting magazine articles, you get access to one-click demos for instant pages, with post layout design options to make your blog posts defined their topics. SimpleMag includes several features to make sure your blog stands out:

  • AJAX mega menus
  • SEO optimized
  • Full WPML support
  • Multiple Ad placeholders
  • bbPress
  • Responsive design

Norge offers ease of use and a feeling of space. With it’s attractive web design, you get several options to brand a unique-looking blog, including:

  • 5 different post types
  • 15+ content elements
  • An array of widgets to choose from
  • Retina-ready
  • Responsive design

A personal blog needs to be unique and convey your identity. Versaille approaches this concept with a beautiful, artistic design, built on natural curves, flowing connections, and an all around organic, yet contemporary feel. A design great for guiding the visitor eye toward your content.

Built to catch the eye, this fashion-oriented theme is perfect for offering highly captivating pages that give equal footing for text and Images. Katharine offers some great features including:

  • 600+ Google web fonts
  • Plugin support for Contact Form 7, MailChimp, and WPML
  • Retina-ready
  • Friendly 5-star support

The minimalistic design of Richter allows for a modern and content-focused presentation. Developed with SEO in mind, along with a decent amount of customizability, Richter is perfect for blogs focused on presenting high-quality Image galleries, lifestyle content, or any info that needs a crisp, fresh feel.

Soledad is a massive multi-concept theme. Hosting a wide breadth of features and utilities, I can only scratch the surface here.

One of my favorite features is the one-click demo installation. This allows you to literally make a homepage with a single click. 2000+ demos are provided, which can be edited to your liking. Some other great features include:

  • 800+ slider, blog, and magazine layout combinations.
  • Support the most essential plugins
  • Optimized for responsive design
  • Excellent page speed.
  • Mega menus
  • 400+ utility options
  • 32 premade slider styles,
  • Fully supported AMP

With both a light and responsive design, Rosemary is elegant. The five layouts offered give off an air of sophistication. With great post layout capabilities, you will be able to create a contemporary blog with a sharp look.

The simplistic and mature design of Hemlock is geared toward keeping focus on your actual content. Built as a single column design, the eye natural stays attuned to what your want your visitors to see. This theme is always being updated and provides great customer support.

Wrapping Up

All of these themes offer massive potential. But in the end, it’s the content you create that decides your journey. Even so, picking a solid blogging WordPress theme can help launch your next venture most effectively. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, a personal blogger, or a collaborator, the right blogging theme offers many advantages. Pair your theme selection with confidence and you will have taken the first step toward achieving your goals.

Now, find your perfect blog theme and start that journey!

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The post Best WordPress Blogging Themes appeared first on Envato.

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10 Best WordPress Themes for SEO https://envato.com/blog/10-best-wordpress-themes-for-seo/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:39:44 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68379 The streamlined versatility granted to you through the use of WordPress, in it’s simplistic and accessible approach, is one of the primary reasons for its extensive use. Building on this idea through the use of WordPress themes, allows you to achieve success more readily. So today, I’ll be presenting the top 10 WordPress themes that […]

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The streamlined versatility granted to you through the use of WordPress, in it’s simplistic and accessible approach, is one of the primary reasons for its extensive use. Building on this idea through the use of WordPress themes, allows you to achieve success more readily. So today, I’ll be presenting the top 10 WordPress themes that emphasize SEO, in that they are optimized to give you a stronger presence in search engines, and to grant better visibility to potentially millions of users, daily.

These themes were designed to enhance your SEO presence, giving you a competitive advantage, while being more cost effective than hiring someone to manually achieve the same results. You’ll find these themes span the gamut of sub-specialties from portfolio sites to fundraising, so you’re certain to find something that works for you here.

Now, without further delay, here is our list: 

This theme is oriented toward websites looking to expand their potential in marketing. Both small and mid-sized businesses can benefit as well as growing brands, niche ventures, and the SEO industry itself.

With access to over ten optimally designed templates for a variety of needs including blogs, agencies, conferences, social media, and general marketing to name a few, this theme is built to be highly customizable. By using Visual Composer (one of the 72 free plugins included), you can drag-and-drop whatever you need, and manipulate the theme to your specifications, all while keeping it simple and without excess workload on your part.

Designed to optimize your SEO potential in the digital marketing field, it’s highly compatible with a wide variety of powerful plugins, and the coding is as clean and efficient as possible to allow greater speed grades (98% with Pingdom and 96% with GTMetrix). You get access to 12 distinct homepages, too.

Some stand-out features include:

  • Plugin compatibility with SEO in mind, to make sure the most powerful means of optimization are there. These include All-in-One SEO, Rankie, and Yoast. Compatibility is also available with general plugins including Visual Composer, WPML, Revolution Slider, and WooCommerce.
  • Numerous optimized layouts, that can be imported in a single click. Coded for page to page responsiveness. Large collection of homepages, SEO, and marketing pages.
  • Social sharing functionality and optimization, including widgets for the most popular sharing options, like Twitter and Instagram.

Built with a multipurpose design in mind, Digital Agency does excel in SEO considerably. It is highly customizable and easy to use. It is also highly responsive. But my favorite feature is its case studies template, allowing for great versatility in design that can be used with portfolios for impressive presentation.

Digital Agency features many great assets like Revslider, WooCommerce, Visual Composer, and Ultimate Addons which is optimized for SEO and gives you the ability to create any page you want. This, coupled with the provided customization utilities, allows for a totally custom look.

A theme with marketing and finance at the forefront, Markety can fill several needs when it comes to the online marketplace.

The design and graphics provided by Markety have an attractive and modern flair but it still feels organic and colorful. This theme provides a lot of features, giving you a rather versatile way of designing your website.

  • Over 100 shortcode elements, over 100 pages.
  • SEO optimized for all device platforms, with a responsive framework.
  • Cross-browser support.
  • Retina-ready graphics
  • Access to the most popular marketing plugins
  • Translation ready
  • Sidebar generator
  • MailChimp support
  • Great for beginners to WordPress, with helpful customer support

This theme is built on Bootstrap 3 and acts as a wonderfully responsive and optimized portfolio builder. With numerous one-click demo templates, 700+ Google fonts, translation-readiness, SEO-optimized coding, and a custom CSS field for controlling the appearance of HTML elements on your web page, Vivian makes it easy to achieve the look you want.

Oriented towards fundraising, Fundrize gives you access to development tools for many page types. However, there is a unique focus on tools meant for things like donations and fundraising. You can create fundraisers, community start-ups, and charity programs with the templates and custom widgets provided. SEO optimization makes it easier to get the attention of donors. All-in-all, a great theme to start your movement.

  • Responsive and retina-ready
  • Provides essential plugins, like Visual Composer, Revslide, and Contact Form 7.
  • Child theme compatible
  • Smooth Parallax functionality
  • Envato Toolkit Updates
  • And tons more.

Making sure your blog is SEO optimized means it’s going to be viewed more. The Writers theme does a good bit of this work for you. There are plenty of great blogs out there that get overlooked because they don’t rank well. You get all the essential features needed for both beginner and professional bloggers here including a collection of popular SEO plugins, more than 70 utility settings, and four widget areas.

An excellent theme focusing on parallax design, clean code, fast loading times, and a responsive layout. Great for agencies, portfolios, and personal, or corporate presentations. Candy is a great theme that focuses on a modern look.

Some features include:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • 3 unique layouts
  • Magnific popup
  • Ajax portfolio
  • Contact Form plugin
  • Beautiful templates representing quality and professionalism
  • Integrations with Google Maps, retina display.
  • Font Awesome & ionicons support

As the name suggests, this theme is certainly a gem, as it is packed with content and features. It comes with over 150 ready-to-use demo pages, eight ways to integrate navigation with 20 styles, and over 60 elements in over 250 styles. This allows for a multitude of layouts, including those specifically designed for blogs, portfolios, and more. This is just scratching the surface.

The Gem is optimized for SEO with clean code, responsiveness, and extensive plugin compatibility. Some great content includes:

  • 2500+ customizable font icons
  • 20+ custom widgets

The7 theme comes with a great front-end page builder, featuring content for launching many types of sites. You get 30 (and growing) pre-built sites that can then be customized to your liking, along with over 750 templates and over 250 settings for page building. A microsite template is also included to create landing pages and, one page sites.

The7 is SEO optimized, made to be lightweight and compatible with the most popular plugins, and is responsive across all media platforms. You also get six premium plugins including: Ultimate Addons, Convert Plus, WP Bakery, and Go Pricing.

Let’s face it: there are a lot of WordPress themes out there. But if you really want your site to have a strong chance at ranking well, considering an SEO-optimized theme is a worthy decision. Afterall, a SEO theme can put you shoulder to shoulder with what may be larger or more entrenched competitors, by giving you access to the same successful approaches they use.

Did you spot your favorite SEO WordPress theme on the list? If not, feel free to share it below.

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How to Increase ROI Through Your Website’s Footer https://envato.com/blog/how-to-increase-roi-through-your-websites-footer/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 01:48:47 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68369 Return on investment, or ROI, is a crucial component of any successful business strategy. It’s a calculation of how much you’ll benefit in return for the cost of a specific investment or venture. Although it may be simple to understand and calculate, it’s not quite so simple to achieve. To ensure you maintain a viable […]

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Return on investment, or ROI, is a crucial component of any successful business strategy. It’s a calculation of how much you’ll benefit in return for the cost of a specific investment or venture. Although it may be simple to understand and calculate, it’s not quite so simple to achieve. To ensure you maintain a viable ROI, you need to keep customer engagement and revenue as high as possible. In the modern world, engagement and revenue ratings are much more complex — even more so when you focus on the digital aspect of it all. For marketers, web designers and developers, the focus should always be on boosting engagement and conversions. Traffic matters, but not if you don’t have the sales or interactions to go with it. The beauty of web design is that there are many elements you can configure and optimize to boost total ROI. One particular element is the footer, or bottommost portion of your pages. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can make this happen.

1. Decide What You Want to Accomplish

Ask yourself this: What is it you want to achieve with your footer? Do you want to use it as a secondary call to action? Do you need an additional layer of navigation options? More importantly, how does it relate to your overall business goal? If you would rather build brand recognition and goodwill with your audience over making a sale, then it can offer another section to do that. There’s no wrong or right answer. It’s all about what you want for your design and audience, and what it is that you’d like to accomplish. Furthermore, by sticking to a main goal, you can keep your mission aligned across the board. Your site will offer one seamless, user-friendly experience. Creative agency Bluestag’s footer is a great example of this. It employs a minimal design, with just a single point of focus. The agency wants you to hire it, so that’s exactly what is proposed in the footer, along with information to make it happen. It’s simple yet elegant, and it works.

2. Include Your Must-Haves

These days you have to include a number of disclosures or credentials by default to build trust or to protect your company. This includes things like your terms of use, privacy policy, copyright notice, ad or affiliate link disclosure, and much more. If you don’t already have another place to display these, then so be it. Get them out of the way first, so that you can add a little more color to your footer. One of the best ways to incorporate them is to use a multilayer footer, so they have their own segment apart from everything else.

3. Mirror Your Primary Call to Action

Along with deciding what you want to accomplish with your footer, consider what you’re trying to do with your site. Do you want to sell a product or service, or would you rather boost exposure? Use this information to mirror your call to action. It might entail adding an inline contact form in your footer, adding an email submission or sign-up button, or even encouragement to visit your brick-and-mortar store. Whatever the case, the footer is another great place to include a secondary call to action. For instance, Reynolds Solutions has its 24-hour emergency number in the footer — it’s elsewhere on the page, too. This ensures that anyone spending time on the bottom still has access to the most important information.

4. Organize Your Items Logically

Whether you have a lot of elements in your footer or only a few, the structure is going to influence how effective your content is. If it’s all jumbled and confusing, you might as well have ignored the footer altogether. Organize your footer in a logical way so all the items and elements are paired and segmented appropriately. Most website themes and design tools already include some form of division for the footer area. Each section may be layered, or there may be dividers and segments included already. You see this a lot when a footer is used as another navigation menu. The hyperlinks are generally organized in various sections such as physical locations, services, contact info and more.

5. Get Social

Social media icons — with links to your active social accounts — are the obvious choice here. However, you can also include embed social feeds, recent comments or reviews, press mentions or anything else media-based. The idea is to boost ROI through social engagements. You can also embed social feeds in your footer, so audiences can see what you’ve posted recently or even interact with your social content. In the Behance footer, you can see all the social networks the brand participates on listed openly. This provides customers and visitors with an additional channel to interact with and follow news from the company.

6. Make It Useful

If your footer is just tacked on, with nothing useful or relevant, then it’s certainly not going to contribute anything to your bottom line. Using it for an additional navigation menu is one way to make it useful. You should also include important links and details. Another way to make it useful is to implement a unique content feed. You could deliver tips, advice and even small tutorials in your footer. What this does is draw attention to that area, while providing actionable information for your audience. Eye tracking studies show website readers pay closer attention to images such as infographics. In fact, they spend more time looking at the info-laden images than the text on the page. Use this to your advantage! The Spruce chose to include a secondary navigation menu, albeit with a custom theme and setup. Notice how the menu separates content into various categories? You can also see some of the other elements discussed in this guide, such as social icons, and the important links below the navigation buttons. On the right hand side of the footer is an animated GIF, following the unique content idea.

7. Shift the View

One element commonly found in footers is an option for audiences to return to the top of the page. It makes sense, considering they’ve likely scrolled quite a way down and the navigation option will jump you instantly to the top again. What if you structured your site so the focus shifted back to your call to action? Better yet, what if you used this feature to shift focus to an important section of your page? This highlights the idea that you can use the footer to shift the view of your customer to wherever it is you want them to be.

Keep It Simple

Most of these ideas align with a single concept: adhering to a simple, user-friendly element that doesn’t take away from the rest of the page. You’ll notice that a lot of sites that do it right tend to use minimal design techniques. There’s nothing wrong with being a little flashy, but you definitely don’t want to take away from the rest of your design. The art of using your site’s footer to boost ROI calls for a well-positioned, well-organized footer that enhances the user’s experience. You can do this by adding an additional navigation menu, by including your call to action another time, or even by providing direct links to social networks. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you follow this one basic rule: Keep it simple.

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The post How to Increase ROI Through Your Website’s Footer appeared first on Envato.

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Back in 15 Minutes: Best Practices for Closing Down Your Site For a Day https://envato.com/blog/back-in-15-minutes-best-practices-for-closing-down-your-site-for-a-day/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 05:56:23 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68045 Whether you need to perform site maintenance, close for the day for religious practices, or you just want to take a vacation, there are times when you might need to temporarily shut down your site. We analyze the three simple options available to ensure your site’s search presence isn’t affected by doing so.

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In today’s 24/7 digital world, even online businesses need to take a break once in a while. Whether you need to perform site maintenance, close for the day for religious practices, or you just want to take a vacation, there are times when you might need to temporarily shut down your site.

Sort of like putting a “back in 15 minutes” sign on the door of a physical store.

You might be wondering how shutting down your site might impact your SEO. Fortunately, according to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, there are three simple options available to ensure your site’s search presence isn’t affected:

  1. Block cart functionality
  2. Always show interstitial or pop-up
  3. Switch whole website off

Let’s look at these recommendations in more detail, and tools available in the CodeCanyon marketplace you can use when temporarily closing your site.

Image: Tim Mossholder.

1. Block Cart Functionality

If you run an online store but just want to stop customers from making purchases, the simplest approach is to disable your shopping cart. While there’s no simple way to disable cart functionality for a WooCommerce store, WisdmLabs offers a neat solution using the is_purchasable() function in WordPress.

As Mueller explains, shopping cart pages are usually blocked from search engine crawlers thanks to robot.txt files or blocked from indexing with a robots meta tag. This means that search engines won’t see or index products pages, so you don’t have to worry about any negative impact on your site when disabling your cart, displaying messages that inform customer about why they can’t make a purchase, or if you decide to switch out your cart page for a landing page that explains why your site is closed.

Image: Online shopping concept.

2. Always Show Interstitial or Pop-Up

If you want to shut down your whole site for a period of time, it’s a good idea to display some kind of “We’re closed today!” message, informational page, or pop-up. In this instance, Mueller recommends that your server should return a 503 HTTP result code, i.e. your site is down temporarily and will be back after some delay.

The 503 result code ensure that Google doesn’t index temporary content you’re displaying for users. For example, if you display a pop-up on your homepage that explains to visitors why you’re offline and features a funny gif, that content would be indexed as your website’s content. And you don’t want that!

InMotion Hosting explains how to return a 503 result for your server in this helpful post.

 

  1. Create a 503.php file that includes the following PHP code: 

header(“HTTP/1.1 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable”);
header(“Status: 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable”);
header(“Retry-After: 3600”);
?>

 Lines 2 and 3 define the 503 code. Line 4 defines when the site is expected to be back online. In this case, the number is given in seconds – 3600 seconds is one hour.

 In some cases, you might want to give a specific date, so use the following line of code instead:

header(“Retry-After: Fri, 27 May 2016 12:00:00 GMT”);

If you’d rather not mess around with code, you might want to check out WP Maintenance Mode / Coming Soon Page Builder a free plugin that lets you enable an HTTP 503 header for your site. Alternatively, WP Maintenance Mode can add a maintenance page to your site that lets visitors know it’s down for maintenance.

For more on how to use the HTTP 503 header when temporarily disabling your site, check out Yoast’s excellent guide to handling site maintenance.

Displaying a pop-up on your site is an easy way to quickly inform visitors to your site without changing your existing page content. I recently looked at plugins that meet Google’s guidelines for mobile interstitials:

Popup Plugin for WordPress – Ninja Popups by arscode

Ninja Popups is the most popular pop-up plugin in our marketplace with 30,000+ sales. With this plugin, you can easily create gorgeous looking pop-ups to inform visitors that your site is temporarily closed and when they can expect it to be back online. There are 70+ beautiful themes you can choose from to get you started.

Master Popups – WordPress Popup Plugin for Email Subscription by MaxLopez

Master Popups’ powerful and easy-to-use visual editor lets you create stunning pop-ups in no time, which you can use to provide up-to-date information for site visitors as to when your site will be back online. A particularly useful feature is the fullscreen pop-up options, which, if you’re taking your site offline, would allow you to easily hide your homepage or other content.

3. Switch Whole Website Off

Lastly, you can simply turn your server off. This might be the right option if you’re physically moving your server to another location.

For this option, Mueller recommends setting up a temporary server to serve a 503 HTTP result code for all URLs on your site (don’t forget to set up informational pages or pop-ups for those pages!) and switch your DNS to point to the temporary server.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set your DNS TTL to a low time (such as 5 minutes) a few days in advance.
  2. Change the DNS to the temporary server’s IP address.
  3. Take your main server offline once all requests go to the temporary server.
  4. … your server is now offline …
  5. When ready, bring your main server online again.
  6. Switch DNS back to the main server’s IP address.
  7. Change the DNS TTL back to normal.

Conclusion

Closing down your site or making pages offline temporarily doesn’t have to be an additional headache when you need to take time off from your online business. Following the steps above, you can step away from your site and ensure your search presence isn’t negatively affected.

One last thing Mueller advises for physical stores that go offline: Don’t forget to update your opening hours in your Google My Business account settings.

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Avada Celebrates 400 thousand sales on Envato’s ThemeForest https://envato.com/blog/avada-celebrates-400-thousand-sales-on-envatos-themeforest/ Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:04:04 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68024 In five and a half years Avada has become one of the most popular WordPress themes in the world. Today, it has sold over 400 thousand times on Envato's ThemeForest. In this article, Luke Beck, co-founder of ThemeFusion, the creator of Avada, tells its story.

The post Avada Celebrates 400 thousand sales on Envato’s ThemeForest appeared first on Envato.

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As I think back on our time with Envato, it all goes back to August 16th, 2012. It was an exciting day, the day we submitted Avada to Themeforest for review. The excitement was purely from the fact our new theme was complete, approved and ready to be sold. Every author who submits items on the marketplace knows and understands this feeling. A feeling of accomplishment and pride in what you have created and a little apprehension because you don’t know if all your hard work is going to pay off. Little did we know how quickly that excitement would change into complete awe, with a little bit (technically a lot) of chaos thrown on the side.

Avada sales picked up very quickly. I can recall refreshing the item page many times an hour and seeing the sales jump by several numbers. It was incredible to watch! We had no idea what was starting to happen … a customer base was growing at a rapid pace. Suddenly, we realized that we had something very special, and more importantly that we needed help!  While there have been many speed bumps along the way, I cannot imagine it being any different and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Fast forward 5 and a half years and we now have over 400,000 sales, 20 team members and the most active, helping and thriving customer base anyone in the industry could ask for. 

Currently our 20 team members are spread across the globe, each working in their own remote location. We have always strived to have a family atmosphere even though everything is online. Open communication, collaboration and dedication to the team as a whole is something each of us have and it makes a real difference. Everyone on our team understands the importance of their own personal responsibility because they know if they do their job well, collectively we succeed as a team. We have a lot of fun while working, and spending work time with each team member has been one of my own personal favorite things to do. Every day brings new challenges for all of us and we love it.

Our team is split across 4 departments: development, support, design and documentation. We have a Senior Team with myself and 2 managers to help organize individual projects and oversee everything on a daily basis. Our team members are incredibly intelligent, very unique, strongly opinionated, and diverse. This always makes for interesting meetings and collaborations, which in turn provide us with better solutions for whatever current problem we are trying to solve.

Markus our Development Manager and Michael our Support Manager have both been with us for 5 years and are tremendous assets to ThemeFusion. We’ve become very good friends and I recently asked them to share a few thoughts about what it’s like working with ThemeFusion and Avada in celebration of our 400,000 sales.

“What you’d usually expect in such a statement is direct praise for the company, the working attitude, the team and of course the products beyond compare. And you expect that because you’ve read it probably a hundred times and because each company expects to hear it! So, how exactly is ThemeFusion any different?  I’ve been working at ThemeFusion for 5 years now and can proudly say that we put our efforts and energy daily into a product and a customer base that speak for themselves. You don’t have to simply trust our words. You can check out Avada yourself and find out why it has been the #1 selling theme for over 5 straight years and why over 400k customers love to use it. Our creative play instinct is what drives the constant innovation in Avada and our complete commitment to our customers are what make us do what we love and make us love what we do!”

– Markus S

Markus and Ari (one of our awesome developers) at WordCamp Europe

“Jobs are jobs, right? Not here at ThemeFusion. When I started here several years back, the most exciting part was the internal dynamics of the team and where their vision was taking Avada and the company. The approach has always been passion and integrity, without compromise, and that stands testament to just how much Avada has evolved and grown over the last 5 years. Passion, dedication, integrity, and education are the pillars that underpin our future vision. As a family, what we do today is what will impact you tomorrow.”

– Michael B

From designers to developers and support to documentation, our team understands the importance of what we do each and every day. Customer service truly plays a role in every department and we are always working towards forming more personal relationships with our customers so we can help them more thoroughly, understand their needs and gain invaluable feedback to help improve our product for their needs.

Our customers are truly amazing. Years ago, one of our customers (Julie Larson) formed a community Facebook Group called the “Avada Facebook Users Group”. This is where thousands of our customers meet to share ideas, designs, ask questions and generally help one another. This group is fully run and maintained by our customers. It is such an amazing thing to see customers that use your product have such passion that they spend time helping each other, collaborating and doing everything they can to define the word community.

Geoff Powell, the main administrator of the group has been instrumental in the continued growth and development of the group. He has been using Avada all the way back to Version 1.0! Recently, I caught up with him to get his thoughts on his time with Avada, the Facebook group and the community.

”I’ve been using Avada from the very start. I joined a fledgling Facebook community support group, and 5 years later, we have grown to 15,000 members! Avada has turned out to be a great choice of theme, and the ThemeFusion team is fantastic in both developing it and supporting the users along the way. The community we have developed around the theme is just a fantastic bonus!”

– Geoff Powell

We can’t say enough about the Avada community. They are a huge part of our continued success and it is truly amazing to see the community thrive. They are such an important extension to our internal team that we never expected to have.

So much is changing in our industry and we are very excited to see where everything is headed. We have several new products we are working on in tandem with setting new trends by continually adding awesome features to Avada while implementing the latest and greatest suggestions from our customer base. All of our upcoming plans and goals are based around our Avada community, the WordPress community and industry, and our internal passion for making things that people love to use.

It’s always great to see Avada sites out in the wild. Below is a list of some of our favorite ones we’ve recently discovered.

Russel Brand

Microsoft Visual Studio

Brook Street Des Roche

San Diego County Fair

Oxford Property Consulting

Sarah Millican

David Parry Employment Law

Fairfield Enriched Living

Jack Whitehall

Festival 84

We are very excited to passionately work on our goals which will expand the Avada ecosystem and put amazing tools in our customers hands. These goals will allow them to continue building amazing websites with ease and efficiency. We look forward to every day, every challenge we are presented and ultimately every goal we have to reach. None of this would be possible without our amazing team spread across the globe working endlessly to fulfill their passions and help us move into the future, our thriving Avada community, our growing customer base of over 400,000 users, and the Envato platform which provided this amazing opportunity that started over 5 years ago.

Thank you very much! We look forward to sharing our hard work with you!

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The post Avada Celebrates 400 thousand sales on Envato’s ThemeForest appeared first on Envato.

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How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming WordPress https://envato.com/blog/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-wordpress/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:53:16 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=67887 Whether you’re on Team Zuckerberg and support this futuristic technology or you’re on Team Musk and want to ban killer robots, artificial intelligence has already crept into the world of web development. In fact, there are many WordPress plugins that are using artificial intelligence.

The post How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming WordPress appeared first on Envato.

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Artificial intelligence is no longer in the realm of sci-fi movies and TV shows like Star Trek or Westworld. It has well and truly jumped into the mainstream news headlines.

And the headlines are often contradictory. AI is either a technological leap into a prosperous world filled with sophisticated tools enhancing human endeavor. Or mass unemployment in a society where robots rule, reminiscent of Skynet in the Terminator movies.

Whether you’re on Team Zuckerberg and support this futuristic technology or you’re on Team Musk and want to ban killer robots, artificial intelligence has already crept into the world of web development. In fact, there are many WordPress plugins that are using artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is technology that enables machines to carry out tasks that humans need intelligence to do. There are plenty of examples of AI in real life – self-driving cars, smart home devices, and music and movie recommendation services.

Most AI examples you hear about rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, machines can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in it. This subset of AI is known as machine learning,

Before machine learning came along, computers could only be given a set of rules to follow and operate within a defined set of parameters. Now, thanks to AI and algorithms, machines can learn from data and adapt to the environment they’re operating in.

This means that the more data fed to a machine, the more it learns and improves.

Unlike humans, AI doesn’t have to sleep and won’t make the same mistake twice. It can also access vast amounts of digital data in seconds, while our brains cannot.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. AI is being used in productive ways to improve how we use and manage WordPress websites.

WordPress Plugins That Use AI

While AI is certainly an exciting field of technology, it’s still pretty new. As such, there are few plugins that use AI and machine learning. The ones listed below are still fairly experimental but do provide advancements in SEO, customer service, and security.

WP A.I ASSISTANT

Like a shop assistant in a physical store, this plugin lets you add a virtual assistant to your website that can help guide customers and sell products. This plugin provides a smart visual tool, kind of like mind mapping, that helps you easily create complex AI for your assistant so you can pre-program actions and interactions on your site.

Facebook Messenger Chat with Bot

How can you be in two places at once? Easy. With this clever plugin that hooks into Messenger. Create a bot that can automatically answer your visitors’ questions instantly in real-time, even when you’re not online. With this plugin, visitors can ask your bot questions about products and support, ask for blog posts published on your site, and even search for information on your site.

WordLift

WordLift is marketed as “A WordPress Plugin that does what an SEO expert would do.” But what is that exactly? Basically, this plugin analyzes the articles and words on your site, transforming your text into machine-friendly content that helps to improve audience engagement and increase your organic traffic.

The plugin builds an “internal vocabulary” for your site, which acts as both a reference and a search magnet for your visitors. And for content creators, it suggests contextual facts, links and media for creating richer and more engaging content, all while optimizing it for search. A win-win if you want to better organize your content and improve your visibility in search.

Aimojo

This cloud-based, AI-driven plugin creates new taxonomies for your site that enable information to self-organize based on contextual value. This makes link lists and menus contextual and dynamic, making your site “sticky” and visitors more like to convert. The plugin author claims it improves search results by 10 times.

Aimojo is a redesign of Affinitomics and hasn’t been updated in two years, so if you decided to use this plugin, try it out on a local development or staging site first.

Kindred Posts

Kindred Posts uses artificial intelligence to learn how your website visitors use your site and recommends content based on their interests. It requires next-to-no setup – simply activate the plugin and drag a widget into your theme to start recommending content.

While there are plenty of decent (and not so decent) related posts plugins around, what sets Kindred Posts apart is how it uses AI to learn how your visitors interact with your content and suggest posts they are more likely to want to read.

A cool feature of this plugin is the ability to integrate it with Google Analytics. Simply add your tracking code to the settings page and you can start monitoring what recommendations visitors are reading.

Watsonfinds

Watsonfinds uses “sentiment analysis” to provide detailed insight into the emotions your content may elicit in visitors. The plugin adds an icon to the WordPress text editor so you can scan your pages, posts, product descriptions and comments. Each scan offers insights into how your content evokes joy, sadness, anger, disgust and fear in your visitors, along with a percentage score for each emotion. You can then use these insights to modify and improve your content so that it conveys your intended message.

MyCurator

This content curation plugin lets you quickly discover interesting content and customize it to suit your niche before publishing it on your site. MyCurator’s cloud AI module searches RSS, Twitter and Google alert sources for content and classifies their relevance to you after some simple training. This means you can weed out 90% of topics that you’re not interested in or might think are irrelevant. You can also train this plugin by upvoting or downvoting the posts it finds.

QUTTERA WEB MALWARE SCANNER

With Quttera Web Malware Scanner, you can scan your site in one click for malware, trojans, backdoors, worms, viruses, shells, spyware and other threats. Using cloud technology and AI, this plugin uses machine learning to get better at recognizing threats to your site over time. It also recognizes JavaScript code obfuscation, exploits, malicious iframes, malicious code injection, malicious code obfuscation, auto-generated malicious content, redirects, and hidden eval code.

Primal for WordPress

Similar to related posts plugins, Primal helps you display relevant content to your visitors. Using AI, it collects information about your content and pulls in pages from across the web, including news and videos, that are tailored to each page you create. Using machine learning, this plugin learns the interests of your visitors based on their clicks so it can deliver more relevant and engaging content over time.

Conclusion

AI isn’t about to steal web development jobs any time soon, but you can certainly make the most of how it can provide better contextual content, help your visitors and protect your site against security threats with the plugins listed above.

Don’t forget to check our plugin marketplace for more AI plugins, code and scripts.

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An Introduction to Voice UI and Why It’s a Big Deal

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, it would be hard not to notice the voice UI revolution that has taken place. This means that UX designers need to meet this shift head-on in order to satisfy growing demand.

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10 Best WordPress Themes for Sporting Clubs and Organizations https://envato.com/blog/10-best-wordpress-themes-for-sporting-clubs-and-organizations/ Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:58:58 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=67871 There's nothing like the adrenaline of kicking a goal or scoring a touchdown. Sports is something that touches millions of people around the world. Which is why in every city, there are organizations built around encouraging people to take part. And a good website is key to that.

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Playing team sports isn’t just about having fun with your friends, it’s also great exercise. Plus, there’s nothing like the rush of adrenalin when you score a touchdown, kick a goal, or hit a home run.

But team sport isn’t just about winning. It’s about bringing people together. It’s about teamwork and camaraderie. And for teams and leagues that have websites, celebrating coming together as a team is just as much off the field as much as it is on.

With a great website, sports teams and leagues are able display team and player profiles, publish upcoming game details, and leaderboards. Most sophisticated sports websites often sell merchandise via WooCommerce.

For players, being able to access all this information online, especially game day highlights and photo galleries, allows them to share links with friends and family and encourage others to join in their sport.

Here are 10 of the best WordPress themes designed especially for sports clubs and leagues. Each theme offers a modern design and many include features like fixtures lists and scoreboards, team and player profiles, and WooCommerce integration.

Splash is one of the most fully-featured sports themes available. Designed with basketball, football, soccer and baseball clubs in mind, it comes with four well-designed and fully customizable templates.

With Splash you can:

  • Create team and player profiles with photos, detailed descriptions and stats.
  • Manage team fixtures, display upcoming games, and show past game results.
  • Manage and display statistics for your teams, and where they sit on your league’s ladder.
  • Display game day highlights, team victories and players interviews in high quality video.
  • Embed audio commentary or your league’s podcast.
  • Get your fans excited with a countdown clock that ticks down the minutes until your next game.
  • WooCommerce integrates with Splash out-of-the-box so setting up your online store for team merchandise is easy.
  • Raise much-needed funds for your community sports club, accept donations via PayPal and display a fundraising progress bar as you work toward your goal.
  • Choose from the included presets or build custom equations using player metrics, events results, custom scoring, player performance and more.

This theme is also fully compatible with SportsPress, the most popular sports data plugin for WordPress.

This responsive sports theme has been designed specifically for football, aka soccer, clubs and leagues. It comes with some solid features, including player profiles, player lists, league tables, fixtures and results, and match reports.

It’s fully customizable via the WordPress Customizer, so you can update colors and fonts, and even use Google Fonts. There’s also full compatibility with WooCommerce if you want to sell team merchandise online.

Real Soccer is compatible with JoomSport, a plugin for managing sports leagues and tournaments.

Sport is a flexible WordPress theme designed for sporting clubs and grassroots community groups. With its modern design and modular layout, this theme is easy to customize and comes with lots of great features, including two pre-designed demos, an intuitive admin panel, gallery options for display game day highlights, header builder, support for touch devices and a great built-in page builder.

Other features include advanced blog option, custom widgets, shortcodes, video embeds and WooCommerce compatibility.

Gameday is a responsive sports media theme, so it’s not just for teams but for displaying news too. It features WooCommerce integration so you can quickly set up a store and start selling sports gear and team merchandise. There’s also a custom-built scoreboard for league leaderboards, a drag-and-drop homepage, and a slider on each category page so you easily display game day highlights.

For sites that advertise, this themes includes four different ad units (including a wallpaper ad).

Champion is a football/soccer theme designed with lots of fantastic sports-specific features including five header types, fixtures management, a points table manager, WooCommerce integration, a custom blog, video and parallax backgrounds, social network integration, team and player management, club trophies, and partner logos.

This theme includes other great features like WPBakery Page Builder for easy drag and drop customization, different gallery options so you can display game day photos, a responsive design, wide and boxed options, and one-click demo import.

Sporty is an all-rounder sports theme that can be customized for a range of sports, including football/soccer, American football, basketball, baseball, rugby, volleyball, ice hockey, handball and cricket. It’s compatible with the SiteOrigin drag and drop page builder, so customizing this theme is easy. There are also five custom widgets in addition to the 20+ that some with SiteOrigin.

Better connect with your fans with Oxigeno, a theme designed to help you display team information, publish details of upcoming games, and sell team merchandise. With its comprehensive options panel, unique page transitions and distinctive typography, this theme offers plenty of customizations so you can personalize it to suit your team. It also comes with a cost calculator, page builder, and shortcodes.

This soccer/football-centric theme has a stack of features that make it easy to set up and run a sports website, including:

  • Match fixtures and details
  • Points tables
  • Recent results
  • Upcoming matches
  • Club rankings and listings
  • Club profiles
  • Player listings and profiles

This theme also comes with advertising blocks so you can promote club sponsors and partners. Other features include WooCommerce, WPBakery Page Builder, and Themeum Soccer integration.

Sports Club is a great option, whether you’re setting up a club website, sports event site, sports news website or children’s sports club page. It comes with a stack of shortcodes to help you display game shorts, videos, showcase your players, publish sports stats, and sell equipment and gear.

This theme is ideal for:

  • Local sports club that wants to display news and upcoming match details
  • Sports news sites that wants to publish articles
  • Sports equipment and merchandise stores that wants to sell gear online
  • Sports events that need advertising for upcoming dates

Xtreme Sports club is a creative, modern and responsive design that is ideal for any kind of sports website, extreme sports, sports club or online sports shop. It features a stunning fullwidth header slider. But mostly isn’t best suited to sports groups that want to sell merchandise and gear online thanks to its compatibility with WooCommerce.

There are three different homepage layouts so you can choose which one best suits you. It also comes with WPBakery Page Builder and Slider Revolution.

Conclusion

Whether you want to set up a simple website for your football team or a comprehensive online home for your league and all its teams, you’re bound to find the right theme in this list. And if not, check out our theme marketplace for more.

When choosing a theme, keep in mind what features you need. While all of the themes above offer different combinations of features such as scoreboards, team and player management, and even scoring calculations, each theme does it differently.

And don’t forget you can customize the look and feel of these themes with plugins like WPBakery Page Builder, which is often bundled with themes.

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7 Best HTML Website Templates for Creative Portfolios https://envato.com/blog/7-best-html-website-templates-for-creative-portfolios/ Thu, 01 Mar 2018 03:42:31 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66332 You put your heart and soul into your creative work. Make sure the same amount of effort and detail goes into crafting the perfect website for showcasing who you are as a creative professional. These 7 HTML website templates for creative portfolios are the building blocks to developing a website you can be proud of.

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In the gig economy of today, marketing yourself as a freelance writer, designer, photographer, or any other sort of creative is not only vital for success, but necessary for securing consistent work.

Unlike days gone by, when agencies would host meetings and produce samples through more tangible mediums and presentations, the digital world allows for greater flexibility. In fact, you can virtually engage with a prospective client and produce proposals without ever having to meet in person.

Individuals can now self-publish and share samples of their work online through self-created websites. These one-stop shops are perfect for boasting experience, displaying finished pieces, and showcasing personality to potential hiring managers. And through WordPress, creating an online portfolio is now easier than ever with easily customizable functionality, themes, and templates made available for use.

Website Template vs. Website Theme

Before deciding upon your website’s appearance, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with relevant terminology. One area of confusion for most is the idea of a website template versus a website theme.

A WordPress theme encompasses a website’s complete front-end design. This means it encompasses all of the files that are associated with the website’s graphical design, such as colors, fonts, headers, footers, and sidebars. Changing the theme of a WordPress site will modify the way the site is displayed but it won’t change the underlying core programming of WordPress itself.

While some people will refer to a website’s design as its ‘template’. According to WordPress, the template is a single file that dictates an area of a web page generated by the theme. In this sense, templates are essentially building blocks that make up the web page as a whole. Typically then, you’ll see a template for the content of a website, sidebars, the header of a web page, and so on.

Best HTML Website Templates for Creative Portfolios

When building out a website for your creative portfolio, you want the end result to be a reflection of you and the work you’re most passionate about. This is why putting in the time to research the ins and outs of available templates is especially important.

Here are 7 of the best HTML templates for creative portfolios to consider:

Patti is a versatile template perfect for web agencies, digital studios, freelancers, and photographers, the Patti template is clean, modern, and minimalist in design. It is offered with five different layouts to correspond with whatever your portfolio project needs may be. Customer reviews applaud the outstanding customer support, design, and code quality.

Additional features include:

  • 100% responsive and mobile-ready
  • Parallax background effects
  • Slider Revolution and Visual Composer included

The Foundry template is both versatile and high-performing as an HTML portfolio template. Featuring clean and responsive design with well-designed code, it’s perfect for building both multi-page and one-page sites. Don’t take our word for it though—over 9,000 users have purchased the theme and rated it 5 stars for design quality.

Additional features include:

  • 100+ fully responsive HTML template files
  • 20+ niche concept home pages
  • 95+ blocks in Variant Page Builder
  • Light and dark skins
  • Over 1000 icons
  • Social integration
  • Page notifications enabled in latest version

Massive is a Bootstrap-based, multipurpose theme, powered by Gulp and SCSS. It serves as the perfect choice for creating multiple sites around corporate needs, creative design, photography, agencies, and more.

Included with the template:

  • 285+ pages
  • 60+ demos
  • 85+ portfolio
  • 70 layered PSD and 27 PSD mockups
  • Retina ready
  • 150+ shortcodes

Air is a lightweight and minimalist portfolio layout suited for agency, photography, freelance functions, and more. It is also compatible with Bootstrap 3.x and provides an unlimited number of listing layout options around type, columns, and spacing.

Other key features include:

  • Fully responsive
  • Retina-ready
  • 600+ Google fonts
  • Optimized for SEO

With over 150 unique blocks in Variant Page Builder and 110 pre-built pages, Pillar is a reusable and multipurpose template that allows for the building of all sorts of variations. It includes over 160 sections for multi-page or one-page static HTML websites and landing pages and offers 20 uniquely designed and styled home page options.

Additionally features:

  • 100+ fully responsive HTML template files
  • 2000+ icons to choose from including the premium Icons Mind icon kit ($59 value)
  • Multi-column “mega-menu” and double-level drop-down menus
  • Social integration
  • Google API-integrated

Awesome Ideas is a clean multi-page and multipurpose template that is perfect for professionals, businesses, freelancers, designers, developers, illustrators, photographers, and creative agencies alike. The template includes a shop page feature, as well as pages for service detail, portfolio detail, and team details.

In addition, this creative portfolio template features:

  • Fully responsive design
  • 8 creative slides
  • SEO supported
  • Built with Gulp, NPM, and Yeoman
  • Clean code
  • Customer support included

If you’re an artist, creative, and/or designer, Impacto is the perfect portfolio option for you! This template includes a sidebar for easier navigation, which sets itself apart from its other one-page site counterparts.

It also boasts a number of desirable features, including:

  • Retina-ready, perfect for those high-quality work displays
  • Parallax background
  • Multiple portfolio layouts
  • 2 home page layouts
  • 3 types of portfolio pages
  • 2 types of portfolio single pages
  • Cross-browser compatible

7 Best HTML Website Templates for Creative Portfolios

You put your heart and soul into your creative work. Make sure the same amount of effort and detail goes into crafting the perfect website for showcasing who you are as a creative professional.

These 7 HTML website templates for creative portfolios are the building blocks to developing a website you can be proud of.

Which HTML website templates would you add to our list of recommendations? Tweet @Envato and we’ll share our favorites!

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